When asked to explain the failure, AOL Chief Tom Drapeau said "users do have a desire for a social news experience, but simply didn't expect to find it on Netscape.com." They cut the quote off there, but we feel safe assuming that Drapeau went on to say that "users instead expect to find their social news experience on the websites of former MAD magazine competitors."
A few of the comments on Digg indicate the biggest problem with Cracked is that we sometimes split our articles over multiple pages. For instance, all 23 words in that first sentence are hyperlinked to a different comment to that effect. Proving once again that we don't listen to a word anyone says, the redesigned Cracked.com isn't all on one page, either. In fact, the site is split up into literally thousands of pages. Once you get to the main page, you're going to have to click on an article to see it. Clicking on that article is going to take you to a whole other page. We recommend taking Dramamine before trying to navigate the new Cracked. Also, don't wear anything you don't mind sweating in, because there's going to be a LOT of clicking.
You know who else splits up words onto a bunch of different pages? Books! And, we know how much people like to read those these days. Meanwhile, the folks God chose, both in a general sense and to write comedy, realized how annoying multiple pages could be and printed their go-to text, The Torah, on one easy to navigate 50-pound role of sheepskin. The blog is sort of the Web equivalent of the Torah in the sense that everything is on one easy-to-"scroll" page. We're thinking about making our blog display an ad between every sentence, just to balance things out.
At the meeting to decide what new direction we wanted to take the site, there was some slight differences in opinion. "Pictures of those funny lolcatz doin thingz in yur websitez," suggested a contributor. "More lists. Lists about lists. The top 8 lists about lists. No, no, 9. The top 9. Is anyone listening to me!?," shouted another.
"Photos of my genitals. Tasteful ones, black and white, mostly," offered an editor. "Wait," he clarified while being dragged out of the building. "I would arrange my testicles and fit them into elaborate re-creations of famous paintings and scenes from iconic movies ... I've got costumes."
While it was pretty clear what we didn't want Cracked to be (specifically, an all-dick re-imagining of Da Vinci's Last Supper), it was also obvious none of us really had any idea what we did want to be. Ultimately, we decided that if we gave ourselves a snazzy new logo treatment, the rest of the site would fall into place.
This is shaping up to be the website equivalent of Garth Brooks' attempt to release a rock album as Chris Gaines, or Sylvester Stallone's attempt to corner the comedy market with Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. We're thinking the next few months will be like one long, drawn-out version of the "You Got the Touch" section of Boogie Nights, with Cracked editors telling users that "the fucking heart and soul that we put into this website is ours, and you don't own that!"
We made some bold choices with the original, Cracked 1.0 logo (Yellow letters on a red background--what will people say?), but now we've taken it to a whole new level. See, there are subtle cracks behind the logo, and the name of the site is Cracked. Do you see what we did there?